Friday, July 31, 2015

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update - July 31, 2015

​Greetings Everyone!
     Thursday was World Day Against Trafficking of Persons. We have included several articles, actions, and videos related to human trafficking in this Weekly Update. "Each year millions of women, men and children are trafficked for profit. They are sexually exploited, made to undertake demanding and often dangerous work in homes, farms and factories across the globe, and find themselves victims of one of the many other forms of abuse such as forced marriage or organ removal. Yet despite the wide-spread recognition that this is one of today's most exploitative crimes, action is lacking: more needs to be done to dismantle the organized criminal networks behind this, while at the same time it is critical that assistance to victims be stepped up." Click here for entire article from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
     Also please consider taking action on behalf of Salar Shadizadi. He was arrested in Iran as a juvenile and is scheduled for execution tomorrow. We have provided several links for more information and actions that you can take for him.
     Thank you... for all that you do for others!
     -Debbie, Weekly Update Editor
Click here for entire Weekly Update.

Iran: Salar Shadizadi Scheduled Execution August 1 - URGENT ACTIONS from Elise Auerbach, Amnesty International

Amnesty International USA
Dear Friends:
      Salar Shadizadi is scheduled to be executed in two days---Saturday August 1. We ask you to take action to urge Iranian authorities to stop this execution from happening. Salar Shadizadi was only fifteen when he allegedly committed this crime. Iran is one of the few countries that still execute juvenile offenders. Iran has already executed nearly 700 people this year, an alarming increase over last year, when the total number of executions was at least 743, already an alarming increase over 2013. Salar Shahizadi was permitted his last visitation with family yesterday. Please use the next couple of days to raise as much awareness about this case as possible so as to pressure the Iranian authorities to halt the execution. Below is contact information, a link to our media advisory, and below that the urgent action we issued on this case a couple of days ago. Thanks.

Best wishes,
Elise Auerbach (Iran country specialist, Amnesty International USA)

For activism, please use the following contact details:

Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English-language account), @Khamenei_fa (Persian-language account), @Khamenei_ar (Arabic-language account), and @Khamenei_es (Spanish-language account).

  • The following external outputs are available on this case:
Urgent Action -
Media Advisory -

If you have any questions, please contact the Iran team on

The media advisory is available on the Amnesty International website at the following link:

Human Rights Watch: The Week in Rights - July 30, 2015

USA: Stop the Traffik - WEBSITE and ACTIONS

Stop the Traffik
     "We are a global movement of activists around the world who passionately give their time and energy to build resilient communities and prevent human trafficking."

Nauru, Australia: Lost Children - SHARE A MEMORY ACTION

Amnesty International Australia
     The people in detention on Nauru, who came to Australia seeking safety, are instead reporting that they're being abused, assaulted and degraded. It’s harrowing stuff. Especially when you think about the 81 children our government has locked up there.  The conditions on Nauru are so appalling that staff are risking their livelihoods by speaking out. One doctor blew the whistle after seeing a toddler on Nauru suffering from months of untreated tuberculosis[1]. For this, our government has threatened to throw him in jail.
     We’re not all doctors or lawyers but we can still do our part to stop our government detaining children.

Myanmar: Prisoners of conscience released in amnesty but scores remain behind bars - Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International's Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific

Amnesty International
July 30, 2015
“We are delighted that these 11 men can now walk free and return to their families, even if nothing can make up for the ordeal they have had to go through. But the fact remains that none of them should have been imprisoned in the first place,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
“We have seen an alarming increase in arrests and harassment of peaceful activists in Myanmar in the past year, with an increasing number of prisoners of conscience languishing behind bars. Releases like the one today will have little long-term effect if the laws that allow the authorities to crackdown on human rights defenders, students, journalists and government critics remain on the books.”
 “Myanmar’s authorities have a track record of announcing prisoner amnesties, like the one today, at politically opportune times. The government must prove that this is more than an empty gesture to curry favour ahead of the November elections. The next step must be to release the scores of peaceful activists who still remain behind bars, and to drop charges against those facing imprisonment simply for peacefully exercising their human rights,” said Rupert Abbott.

Click here for entire article.

Chad: Djeralar Miankeol Released

Amnesty International USA
July 30, 2015
"Djeralar Miankeol, Chadian land rights activist and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, was released on 28 July. The Moundou Court of Appeal overturned an earlier High Court verdict that had found him guilty of insulting the judiciary and dropped all charges against him."
Click here for more information.

U.S.: Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2015 - ONLINE PETITION
     "Right now there are 100,000 to 300,000 underage girls being sold for sex in America. Every year 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States and the average age indoctrination into human trafficking begins between the ages of 12-14 years old. Many of these children have been involved with our nation’s foster care systems which do not have the appropriate training and services to effectively address and resolve these issues.
     The Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2015 (SCWRTA) will change this by providing child welfare agencies with up-to-date training and guidelines for working with youth who have been, or are currently, victims of trafficking."
Click here for ONLINE PETITION.
Published on Jan 15, 2015
“The Chance for a New Life” depicts Sara Kruzan’s journey from being sexually trafficked as a young girl to her conviction for murder and sentence of life imprisonment. For seven years, attorneys at Perkins Coie worked tirelessly in support of Sarah’s bid for freedom. Here is their true story.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

India: Execution of Yaku Memon Cruel and Inhuman

Amnesty International - India

 "The execution of Yaku Memon marks another disheartening use of the death penalty in India, Amnesty International India said today."

Click here for entire article. 

Amnesty International: Justice for Victims of War Crimes in Gaza Conflict

Amnesty International

      Over 50 days, both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes and other serious breaches of international law. To date, neither side has held anyone to account.
      During the war, Israeli forces fired tens of thousands of artillery and tank shells into densely populated residential areas, and launched air strikes on homes across the Gaza Strip, killing families inside in many cases. They struck schools sheltering civilians and attacked hospitals and medical workers, including ambulance staff trying to evacuate the dead and wounded.
      On the other side, Palestinian armed groups fired thousands of rockets and mortars towards Israel, and also stored and fired munitions from residential areas of Gaza. Hamas forces executed at least 23 people in Gaza they accused of “collaborating”, and arrested and tortured others.
Today, we’re calling on the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to genuinely investigate all possible crimes and prosecute those responsible.

Click here for entire article.

United Nations: World Day against Trafficking in Persons - July 30, 2015

United Nations
     Each year millions of women and girls are trafficked for sexual or labour exploitation, robbing them of their freedom, dreams, dignity and hope. Join us in supporting those most affected by this terrible crime.
      Support the ‪#‎igivehope‬ social media campaign for Thursday's World Day against Trafficking in Persons and help give back what’s been stolen from millions across the planet: hope.
Simply follow the three easy steps shown here or visit for more information.
Campaign led by our UNODC - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime colleagues.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The extent of human trafficking explained in 60 seconds - VIDEO

World News
Published on Jul 29, 2015 (1:00 min)
The BBC's David Eades takes a look at the global reach of human trafficking.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Member Links and Petitions (Updated Daily) - July 24 to July 31, 2015

We have such a wonderful membership! Not only do we hold human rights dear to our hearts but there are also  other issues such as the environment, poverty, children's health, etc that can be related to human rights but may not be addressed by Amnesty International. Here are some of those links submitted by our members:

Iran: Juvenile offender, Salar Shadizadi, August 1 Execution Date - URGENT ACTION

July 27, 2015
Amnesty International
     At 15, Salar Shadizadi was arrested in February 2007 on a charge of murdering a friend. He was sentenced to death in December that year, under the Islamic principle of qesas (retribution-in-kind), by Branch 11 of the Criminal Court of Appeal in the northern province of Gilan. His sentence was upheld three months later, by Branch 37 of the Supreme Court. After several years on death row, Salar Shadizadi was transferred to solitary confinement on 7 July 2013 in preparation for execution. The authorities, however, halted the execution at the last minute and allowed Salar Shadizadi to submit a request for judicial review under Article 91 of Iran’s 2013 Penal Code, which gives judges the discretion not to impose the death penalty if they determine that a juvenile offender did not understand the nature of the crime or its consequences, or if there are doubts about the offender’s “mental growth and maturity”.
     Later that year, Branch 13 of Iran’s Supreme Court accepted the request for judicial review and sent the case back to the court of first instance to examine the issue of Salar Shadizadi’s maturity at the time of the crime. The court of first instance referred Salar Shadizadi to Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization (LMO) for psychological examination. The LMO found that “there is no evidence to conclude that Salar Shadizadi was insane at the time of the crime but examining his mental growth seven years after the event is impossible.” Based on this finding, Branch 13 of the Supreme Court upheld the original death sentence. In its reasoning, the Supreme Court stated: “presumptively, mental maturity is present after children reach the age of maturity [which is 15 for boys and nine for girls] and the rebuttal of this presumption requires proof which has not been established in this case.” 
Click here for more information and addresses.  

Texas, USA: Immigrant Family Detention Centers - NEWS

This important story has been overshadowed by the foolishness that accompanies US Presidential campaigning. Here are some links for background information, demonstrations, and, maybe, some changes regarding the family detention centers.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Anita Alvarez and Tracey Thompson on Human Trafficking - VIDEO

Human Rights First
Published on Jul 27, 2015 (2:36 min)
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Assistant Attorney General of New Jersey, Tracey Thompson, discuss the widespread scourge of human trafficking, now the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. They explain the multi-sector approach needed, combining efforts from law enforcement, government agencies, and American businesses, to combat this $150 billion dollar industry.

Death Penalty 2015: The Good and the Bad - NEWS

Amnesty International USA
July 27, 2015

"The first six months of 2015 have seen starkly contrasting developments on the death penalty. While the bad news has been very bad, the good news has been very good."

The BAD...
1. Indonesia resumed executions.
2. Pakistan may soon be counted among the world’s top executioners.
3. Indonesia and Pakistan used crime and terrorism as an excuse to bring back executions.
4. Iran looks set to surpass its execution figures for 2014.
5.  Saudi Arabia has already executed more people than it did in 2014.

The GOOD...
1. Three countries abolished the death penalty in the first three months of 2015.
2. Another three countries are close to abolishing the death penalty.
3. The trend towards abolition in the USA is picking up steam.
4. Those countries that execute are in the minority.
5. More than half the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty.

Click here for entire article.

Chile: Call on Chile to End the Criminalizaiton of Abortion in All Circumstances - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International Chile
"Chile, along with El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Suriname, Malta, Andorra and the Vatican are the only countries in the world with a total ban on abortion. By denying women and girls who have been the victims of rape or incest, or whose health or life are at risk, or who are carrying a foetus that is not viable the option of having an abortion, Chile is violating their human rights. Decriminalizing abortion would show a clear commitment to the lives of women and girls and is vital for achieving gender equality. I hope, therefore, that you will grasp this opportunity to take this first step in acknowledging the human rights of women and girls. International human rights standards clearly set out the obligation of states to protect the rights of all women and girls to life, to physical integrity, to autonomy and to equality.

Click here for ONLINE PETITION. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Iran: 20 years of unfulfilled promises: It is time to put children first - JOINT PUBLIC STATEMENT

July 20, 2015

 "Two decades on from Iran’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Iranian authorities continue to show a shocking lack of respect for the basic human rights of children, 10 human rights groups said today on the 21st anniversary of the ratification of the treaty. The joint statement follows the publication of a formal request by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Committee) for Iran to respond to over 30 concerns ahead of a meeting in Geneva in January 2016 that will scrutinize Iran’s children’s rights record."

Key Concerns include:
  •  Age of majority and adult criminal responsibility
  •  Juvenile executions
  •  Minimum age of marriage 
  •  Children belonging to religious minorities
  •  Children belonging to ethnic minorities
  •  Torture and other ill-treatment 
  •  Abuse and violence
Click here for entire JOINT PUBLIC STATEMENT.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
  • Amnesty International, Raha Bahreini,
  • AHRAZ (Association for the Human Rights of the Azerbaijani People in Iran), Duman Radmehr,
  •  Baha’i International Community, Diane Ala’
  • Insight Iran, Mohammad Nayyeri,
  • Iran Human Rights, Mahmood Amiry Moghaddam,
  • Iranian Lesbian & Transgender Network (6Rang), Shadi Amin,
  • Justice for Iran, Shadi Sadr,
  • Kashaneh Society,
  • The Advocates for Human Rights, Amy Bergquist,
  • Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, Johanna Green,

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Iran: Staggering’ execution spree: nearly 700 put to death in just over six months - Amnesty International UPDATE

July 23, 2015

     The Iranian authorities are believed to have executed an astonishing 694 people between 1 January and 15 July 2015, said Amnesty International today, in an unprecedented spike in executions in the country. This is equivalent to executing more than three people per day. At this shocking pace, Iran is set to surpass the total number of executions in the country recorded by Amnesty International for the whole of last year.  “Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme. “If Iran’s authorities maintain this horrifying execution rate we are likely to see more than 1,000 state-sanctioned deaths by the year’s end.”
Click here for entire UPDATE.

Amnesty International: SAVE THE DATE: Regional Conferences

Dear Amnesty Supporter,
Amnesty International USA’s 2015 Regional Conferences are an opportunity for activists and allies in the Southern, Midwestern, Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Western regions to come together with others in their region to engage in networking opportunities, actions, inspiring plenaries, outstanding key notes, and hands-on workshops.  
Our theme this year is From Moment to Movement because we believe every action taken to defend and advance human rights makes the global human rights movement stronger and even more unstoppable. 
The dates for regional conferences are:
Southern Regional Conference
October 23-25 - Miami, FL

Midwestern Regional Conference
October 23-25 – Minneapolis, MN 
Northeastern Regional Conference
November 7 – Boston, MA 
Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference
November 13-15 – Baltimore, MD 
Western Regional Conference
November 20-22 – Los Angeles, CA 

AIUSA members and staff are invited to help develop and organize sessions that you will attend at the 2015 Regional Conferences. Your ideas help us create a diverse and inclusive agenda while helping to shape the regional dialogue for human rights activists. Information with regard to submitting proposals for workshops and panels is forthcoming. We look forward to seeing you there!
In service,
Johnny Gonzales, Director of Events

How to Help Refugees Rebuild Their World - VIDEO & UPDATE

Amnesty International Australia
"When this talk was given, 50 million people had been forcefully displaced from their homes by conflict and war. Now, less than a year later, the number is 60 million>

Published on Oct 16, 2014 (16:08 min)
50 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their home — a level not seen since WWII. Right now, more than 3 million Syrian refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries. In Lebanon, half of these refugees are children; only 20% are in school. Melissa Fleming of the UN's refugee agency calls on all of us to make sure that refugee camps are healing places where people can develop the skills they’ll need to rebuild their hometowns.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Amnesty International Daily URGENT ACTIONS - July 24 to July 31, 2015

Click here for entire list of URGENT ACTION for the week of July 24 to July 31. (This post is updated daily.)

   Countries for this week's Urgent Actions include: Gambia, Pakistan, Brazil, Iran, Macedonia, Bahrain, and Cambodia.

Note: Most Urgent Actions require a written letter. See our guidelines for writing letters.  Countries are added to this list during the week. The link contains all Urgent Actions for the week.

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update - July 24, 2015

Greetings Everyone!
     As I was paging through the internet this morning, I noticed that human rights stories continue to dominate the headlines. Journalists and lawyers are imprisoned. Demonstrations continue to be held for Raif Badaw, blogger and father. Lethal force continues to be used abroad and in the US by the military and police. Sexual violence and slavery flourish. Racial tension is heightened. So many stories.
     In our Weekly Update we share the links that our members send to us. But unlike the passive reading of internet stories, we can do something. Our members send us links to actions that we can take right now. Thanks to our members, we have online petitions, written urgent actions, calls, and other actions that we use to show our solidarity and perhaps change a life. Thanks to our members, we continue to be informed through our news links and videos. Thanks to our members, events are shared. And, thanks to you... this is all possible.
     Please send us your suggestions for links to Azam at and we will continue to spread the word and, hopefully with you, change our world.
     -Debbie, Weekly Update Editor

Click here for entire Weekly Update.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Human Rights Watch - Week in Rights July July 23, 2015

Iran: 21-year old torture survivor Saman Naseem must be given a fair trial - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International
     When thousands of us took action in February to save Saman Naseem’s life, the Iranian authorities heard us and quashed his death sentence. Now let’s use our power to ensure he gets a fair retrial – this time free from torture and the death penalty. 
     Saman Naseem was only 17 when he was arrested and he has described how he was tortured following arrest. His forced “confession” was used to sentence him to death but news of his scheduled execution sparked an international outcry. Instead of being executed, Saman Naseem was transferred to an undisclosed location. After nearly five months of not knowing what happened to Saman, his family was able to have a prison visit with him on 13 July 2015. The Iranian authorities have also granted him judicial review, thus quashing his death sentence imposed on him for “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth.”
 Click here for ONLINE PETITION.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Amnesty International Commercial with Robin Williams - 1993 - VIDEO

Published on Jan 27, 2013 (0:30min)
Amnesty International's Wheel of Misfortune Commercial with Robin Williams. Aired sometime in early 1993. We miss you Robin Williams.

Iran: The Washington Post files UN petition seeking Jason Rezaian's immediate release - UPDATE & ONLINE PETITION

July 23, 2015 
Today marks one year since my brother was unlawfully arrested and taken to Evin Prison in Tehran. For 365 days, he's persevered through an unnecessary and unjust detention -- a year of his life wasted for no good reason.

Jason is soon set to face what will likely be his final trial hearing. Time is always of the essence, but our sense of urgency has never been greater. Today, we delivered an important announcement for how we’re taking the campaign forward:

We all know Iran has repeatedly denied Jason his basic human rights. Those that have played a role in his continued detention have committed too many violations of Iranian and international law to count. We hope that this urgent action will compel Iran to release Jason once and for all.

We’ve come a long way in this fight, but our work is not done until Jason is released. Please do what you can to keep attention on Jason’s case. As always, thank you for everything you have done during the last year. My family is forever grateful.

July 22, 2015

     The Washington Post has filed an urgent action petition with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention asserting numerous violations of international law and seeking the immediate release of Post Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian. Rezaian was arrested on July 22, 2014 and has been detained in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison for the last year. For months, Rezaian was held without formal charges and without access to counsel. He has been subjected to harsh interrogation and months of solitary confinement.
      Washington Post Publisher Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. said, “We continue to call on Iran for Jason’s immediate release, as he is completely innocent of any crime. For the past year, Jason has endured extensive physical mistreatment and psychological abuse, and we are deeply concerned for his welfare. Jason is being deprived of his basic human rights, and we are asking the UN Working Group to render an opinion to Iran and the international community that Jason’s detention is unlawful and that he should be released immediately.”
      The petition, which was announced during a press conference this morning at the National Press Club, asserts that Rezaian’s detention is arbitrary and unlawful under both Iranian and international law, and includes a formal request for “Urgent Action” by the Working Group, a step which is available in cases where continued detention may constitute a serious danger to an individual’s health or safety.
Click here for Washington Post Update. 
Click here for ONLINE PETITION. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Burkina Faso: Let’s break the barriers to contraception for women and girls in Burkina Faso - ONLINE PETITION and VIDEO

Amnesty International Toronto
July 16, 2015
     Bibata is on a mission to promote and protect women's rights in Burkina Faso. Watch her inspiring story, then sign our petition to put women in charge of their own bodies. Click here for more information. Click here for ONLINE PETITION ‪#‎MyBodyMyRights‬

Published on Jul 15, 2015, video (5:16 min)
     Bibata Ouédraogo is an activist committed to the promotion and protection of women’s rights, including sexual rights and reproductive rights and the right to maternal health. Her work focuses on community outreach on HIV/AIDS, maternal health, violence and discrimination against women, FGM, forced marriage, early.
     Bibata Ouédraogo is the president of the Ouahigouya branch of AFEDEB, a women's association for the development of Burkina Faso. Ouahigouya is a town approximately 180 km from the capital Ouagadougou. The association covers 15 sectors surrounding Ouahigouya and nine of the 36 villages of Ouahigouya. 
     Bibata Ouédraogo is a former teacher. She is married and mother of six children. Her passion for human rights has led her to continue working despite her retirement from teaching in 2013.

Amnesty International: Your Signatures Saved Lives!

Amnesty International
     Thanks to YOU, we've delivered 516,673 signatures today, urging Europe's leaders to put people before borders! Together, we have made a difference - their new plans to stop refugees and migrants drowning in the Mediterranean show that politicians DO listen when enough people stand up to protest.

United Nations: "Let me say this loud and clear..."

USA: Commute Kevin Cooper's Death Sentence - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International USA

     Kevin Cooper has been on death row in California for more than thirty years.
     In 1985, Cooper was convicted of the murder of a family and their houseguest in Chino Hills. Sentenced to death, Cooper's trial took place in an atmosphere of racial hatred — for example, an effigy of a monkey in a noose with a sign reading "Hang the N*****!" was hung outside the venue of his preliminary hearing. Cooper has consistently maintained his innocence. Following his trial, five federal judges said: "There is no way to say this politely. The district court failed to provide Cooper a fair hearing."
     Since 2004, a dozen federal appellate judges have indicated their doubts about his guilt. In 2009, Cooper came just eight hours shy of being executed for a crime that he may not have committed. Stand with me today in reminding the state of California that the death penalty is irreversible — Kevin Cooper's sentence must be commuted immediately.
Click here for ONLINE PETITION.

Syria: Human Rights Activists Hussein Gharir Released and Hani Al-Zitani RELEASED!

Gulf Center for Human Rights
 "Human rights defenders and members of the Syrian Centre for Media and Free Expression (SCM), Hussein Gharir and Hani Al-Zitani were released from prison on 17 and 18 July 2015 respectively. They have been detained since February 2012 following a raid on the offices of the SCM, a non-governmental organisation working to disseminate information regarding the human rights situation in Syria. Their colleague Mazen Darwish, however remains in detention."
Click here for entire article. 
  •  Just a quick note to say the blogger and human rights activist Hussein Gharir from the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression was released this afternoon after more than three years in arbitrary detention in Syria. He had been arrested along with his  two colleagues Hani al- Zitani and Mazen Darwish a prominent Syrian lawyer. We don't have full information on the context of the release and have no information about the status of his two colleagues. Amnesty International has been campaigning for the release of all three along with other peaceful activists as part of the Free Syria's Silenced Voices joint NGO campaign  for civil society activists, media and medical workers detained or forcibly disappeared in Syria. - MENA  (Middle East & North Africa) staff at Amnesty International's London office

Saturday, July 18, 2015

AIUSA: #YourMomentOurMovement - CONTEST

Amnesty International USA

     Every activist has a moment that inspired him or her to movement. You know the one - that moment in which you knew you needed to stand up for human rights. When you had that realization, that change in heart, that inspiration that made you an irreplaceable part of the global movement. What was your moment?
     Tell us your story of how you became an activist and why. You’ll be entered to win exclusive Amnesty International merchandise and the chance to be featured on our website and social media channels.
Click here for more information.

Iran: Activists, Hossein Ali Mohammadi and Taha Kermani, tortured for alleged ‘FLAG-BURNING’ - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International

     Hossein Ali Mohammadi and Taha Kermani, aged 31 and 26 respectively, were each sentenced to 10 years in prison on 12 May by Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court, in the north-western city of Tabriz, East Azerbaijan province, which convicted them of “insulting Islamic sanctities” and “vandalizing public property with the intent to rise up against the Islamic establishment”. Both charges were based on an allegation that they had burnt a flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran painted on the verges of a highway in Tabriz in October 2013. The charge of religious insult was imposed because the Iranian flag contains the words “God is Great” (Allahu Akbar) though it was not established the flag in question contained these words. The intent to rise up against the Islamic establishment was held to exist because, the Court said, “the flag is an important and sacred sign for every country and respect for it is tantamount to respect for the existence of the country itself.” The men have denied both charges.
Click here for more information and addresses. 

China: Hundreds of human rights lawyers targeted - ONLINE PETITION

Amnesty International Australia
      In the last few days, nearly 200 lawyers and activists have been targeted and branded as a 'criminal gang' by the Chinese authorities. Demand an end to this nationwide crackdown on human rights - let the Chinese authorities in the UK know that the world is watching. 
Click here for ONLINE PETITION.
Click here for more information about Wang Yu.  

Amnesty International New Zealand
Click here for more information.
Click here for ONLINE PETITION. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Member Links and Petitions (Updated Daily) - July 17 to July 24, 2015

We have such a wonderful membership! Not only do we hold human rights dear to our hearts but there are also  other issues such as the environment, poverty, children's health, etc that can be related to human rights but may not be addressed by Amnesty International. Here are some of those links submitted by our members:

    Amnesty International Daily URGENT ACTIONS - July 17 to July 24, 2015

    Click here for entire list of URGENT ACTION for the week of July 17 to July 24. (This post is updated daily.)
       Countries for this week's Urgent Actions include:Iran, Gambia, Russian Federation, United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Mozambique, and Bahrain.

    Note: Most Urgent Actions require a written letter. See our guidelines for writing letters.  Countries are added to this list during the week. The link contains all Urgent Actions for the week.

    AI Madison Group #139 Weekly Update - July 17, 2015

    Greetings Everyone!
         "July 17, International Justice Day, is a reminder both of how difficult it is to bring the people responsible for the world's worst crimes to justice and of how crucially important it is not to give up. Over the past two decades, trials for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity have increasingly taken place before national and international courts. This is a dramatic shift, well worth celebrating. Yet, governments often still block justice for political reasons, or cast it aside in favor of competing considerations." - Huffington Post, July 17, 2015

         Thank you for your commitment and continued work for human rights and justice.
         -Debbie, Weekly Update Editor
    Click here for entire Weekly Update.